Original URL: http://www.azstarnet.com/star/wed/31022NRuralSchools.html

Rural schools earn better grades on achievement tests, study finds
October 22, 2003

COLUMBIA, S.C - Rural schools perform well nationally on academic achievement tests, despite less funding than urban and suburban schools and fewer highly trained teachers, according a report released today by the Brookings Institution.

But of the states included in the study, the exceptions were rural schools in Arizona, South Carolina and, to a lesser degree, Minnesota.

The report, conducted by the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, looked at 2002 test scores from 14 states. Those states had test information for every school on their Web sites. The study also evaluated poverty data and said the 14 states selected represented various geographic areas of the country.

Researchers at the Washington think tank analyzed how rural schools perform compared with their state averages to determine an overall trend, said Tom Loveless, director of the Brown Center and the report's author.

The report found that rural schools in South Carolina have a higher percentage of poor and minority student, while rural schools in Minnesota have a higher percentage of poor students; and those in Arizona have a higher percentage of minorities.